Recently we caught up with Demetrius Hinton a.k.a. NAB of St. Louis, MO. You might already know that NAB produces hot tracks for Cross Movement Records (CMR) artists like FLAME, The Phanatik, Lecrae, J.R., & others—but what you MIGHT NOT KNOW is that NAB has a degree in Software Applications Development and he aspires to start his own computer software company one day to assist Christian businesses. Read his story!
The Urban Web Link (UWL):
Hello, Nab! Thanks for taking time out this morning to do an interview. It's the day before Thanksgiving. What are your plans for tomorrow? Will you at least get some turkey?
NAB: Hello! Unfortunately, tomorrow I have to grind it out at the gig. This will be the first holiday I will be working in a very long long time. I will be stuffing my face though, believe that!
UWL: Who is cooking?
NAB: My moms is preparing a feast for the family, along with all my aunties and uncles. We do real big as a family on holidays, but this year since I gotta work, I'm making my rounds today! (Laugh.)
UWL: Thank the LORD for family, especially fam who can cook. So what's been cooking in the studio these days?
NAB: In the studio… hmmm… let's see… probably another So Hot Production… (Laugh.)
UWL: Right, right. I'm guessing it might be top secret, or can you share? Then I want to talk to you about your production company, So Hot Productions!
NAB: On the real, I'm actually behind… I have so much work to do for Lecrae and some other cats from the 1:16 clique: my man J'son and Thi'sl. FLAME is always a beat nabber and a host of other cats, Cross Movement included. It never stops… but thats a good thing. I've actually been behind the boards a lot lately; for instance, look at the credits on J.R.'s album. I did one track but recorded like 90% of his album. I have found myself becoming a full-time recording engineer as of late (Laugh.)
UWL: For our readers not as familiar with what you do, could you hit us with the different talents that you use for God? We can already see that you do production work and make beats and that those beats are in demand!
NAB: Different talents… okay… I'll try to answer quickly (Laugh.) I am actually a software programmer by trade. I graduated from ITT Technical Institute in 2004 with a degree in Software Applications Development. So yeah, I'm a computer nerd! I build, sell, fix and maintain PCs for a few select clients. The PC we use to record our music on was custom built by you know who! I write a lot of boring computer programs to stay sharp using things like Visual Basic, C++ and HTML. I'm trying to learn Flash MX so I can be more well rounded.
UWL: Oh wow, very interesting. Are you planning to continue developing your computer skills and do you have plans to pursue more in that area, or are you gravitating more so into music? I guess in your areas of gifting, the two skills go very well hand in hand!
NAB: Yeah! Long term I wanna open up a software development company that writes business and commercial software for Christian businesses. I think the Christian area is lacking in the areas of professionalism a lil' bit, so I wanna at least contribute to the solution of making it better—which is why I decided to use my gifts for the kingdom. Primarily music right now, which kinda took off literally overnight. Music was never a hobby for myself and J.R.. We always wanted to do it on the scale it needs to be, but didn't anticipate it happening this fast. And ever since FLAME's first album it's been non stop, but thats a great thing! Other talents include being a full-time uncle of 3 (Laugh.)
UWL: Amen, Nab. you are so right. We'll have to kick it after the interview on some things related to your future software development company. The Body of Christ, particulary the so-called HHH community, needs more diversity of the gifts. HHH has enough rappers, ya know! I think that's one reason I appreciate J.R.'s project "Metamorphosis" so much. It's truly a "change" – no pun intended! But rappers are needed too. And speaking of rappers, you were actually on The Phanatik's album, the Dirge song!
NAB: More rappers than we can count…..(Laugh). Where are the singers! Trust and believe, J.R.'s albm is a big change!!!!!! I'm only doing singers from here on out… sorry rappers! (Laugh.) I'm kidding. They'd kill me.
Yea,h that was such an experirence with Phanatik. Mr. Goodwin & I had been building just relationally and getting to know one another prior to his CD releasing. It actually had been a while. It was really informative on things like making sure I always took time out to get with the LORD vs. being at the studio all the time. He always let me know that ministry from an evangelistic sense was the ultimate goal… not the music. So that was a blessing to hear it from a dude like him.
I actually made the track to
Dirge Dancing on Phanatik's album a year and a half before I even met the dude. It was before Cross Movement Records (CMR) linked the distribution deal with Provident. But after I made it, I was like, "You know, Phanatik would probably kill this jawn!!!" So I got my sales pitch on and hyped it up for a long time, so when he finally heard it, he was like, "Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. I see you, NAB." Then just for more promotion I added my little self at the beginning. I had no Idea he was going to keep that. So when i got the album I was like, "Whoa! HE KEPT IT."
UWL: That track is definitely hot! You did a great job. And I had the honor of doing the chorus along with Phanatik on that track, so you & I are track mates! (Laugh.)
NAB: Yeah we are. (Imitating JD…) "Either you don't know, or you don't care…." (Laugh.) You blessed the track. I just found out it was you when you told me yesterday.
UWL: So not only was The Phanatik's album ABOUT the incredible walk, he was literally schooling you one one one about how to live the Incredible walk!
NAB: Yeah, he was really like a big brother to me during that time because was so focused on making beats and doing what I had to do for the HHH community. He and Duce both were constant reminders that HHH wasn't the fight, but that Holiness was.
UWL: I'd like to back up to a comment you made earlier… you were saying that music was never a hobby for you, and that things have been poppin' in that area since FLAME's first album. So tell us a little bit how that came about; i.e., doing FLAME's production, etc. How did you and FLAME meet?
NAB: Myself, FLAME, J.R., and some other cats here all went to the same church. I actually met him after the conversion point and he liked my stuff. At that time though I had one foot in and one foot out the church if-you-know-what-I-mean. But over the years we became very close homeis. Now we are like glue. FLAME is one of our crewmates as we call them down here. He plays a significant intricate role in developing a ministerial attitude down here, so making beats for him is the least I could have done. (Laugh).
As far music never being a hobby, I always wanted to be a successful music producer. That was my goal.I was a secular producer for a team here called "Black Persian" in which the main producer was also an artist (singer). He was also a signed artist to Epic Records. So it was lookin good. We were contacted by some label heads to do three remixes for Craig David… but it never panned out. Then I gave my life to the LORD, but I wanted to continue doing that (music), but only this time, doing it for the LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. I know that sounds like a cliche because everyone says that but I ultimately wanted to satisfy the LORD with my life and whatever it was I had to offer at that point which music. I guess, divinely, J.R.'s passion was the same and thus So Hot Productions was formed.
UWL: What was that one thing that made you finally make a decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior, and how long ago was that?
NAB: Simplistically put, I hated myself and what I had become. I had always thought with godly conscience but never really put it action.
UWL: So was it at a church service that you made the decision, or just at home realizing you needed to do that?
NAB: The year 2000 was the straw that broke the camels back. I lost my pops at the beginning of that year and I had only been saved for like a month. My cousin was murdered in Chicago 10 months later (still unsolved) and lastly my very best friend growing up was murdered in his home in front of his parents by a stranger (still unsolved). So at 19-years-old, my brain was not operating like the normal 19-year-old brain would, I was thinking about the rest of my life then and realized in the midst of all that I was, a sinner before the LORD, and that I needed to believe in the Savior. Prior to that, I was just churchin' it and was going through the motions, but I wasnt living or sharing it—partly because I was still new in the faith. Now at 26 my life's mission is to tell the world about this Jesus Christ.
J.R. was really instrumental in this entire process. We went to them same Elementary, Junior High, and High School, and we knew all the same people. He was real encouraging but at 19-years-old, he was sharing his faith with me.
UWL: Amen. And you are going to do just that through music and also through your computer software company in the future, because you will help other Christians further their mission. So it's a lot of indirect, behind-the-scenes way God is using you!
NAB: Yeah I guess you could say that that would be 100% accurate!
UWL: Tell me more about you & J.R. starting So Hot Productions. Break down what So Hot is for our readers who don't know about it!
NAB: So Hot Productions is a music production company that specializes in the furthuring and developing of Christian musicians! The name was birthed out of the desire and passion to serve the lord with whatever we do and to have a burning
passin for it So, So Hot and Flame mesh well together after all, huh? Actually after J.R. met FLAME, and then Thi'sl came along. He was seeking the LORD I guess for another producer who had the same drive that he did and almost overnight with a few prayers and whatnots it happened.
We all grew in this thing togther. So you see, here in St. Louis So Hot is like a miniture Cross Movement (Laugh.) –a group of believers who are seeking to glorify god through the medium of Hip-Hop. Myself and J.R. just happen to be the dudes everyone sees and knows. In terms of brotherhood here thats what people identify us as: FLAME, NAB, J.R. & Thi'sl, but actually its really just me and J.R. from a musical sense. Ministerially it's more than I can count. Just like the Cross Movement camp has more members than the 4 cats in the actual rap group (Laugh.) So when people say "So Hot," here, they mean the whole squad, but business-wise it's just myself and J.R.
UWL: Gotcha. So how do people get ahold of So Hot Productions if they are interested in being serviced?
NAB: Getting with us as simple as an email. Just mail to email@example.com, or send us mail to:
So Hot Productions
P.O. Box 2052
Florissant, MO 63032-2052
Or early next year, in 2006,, you can hit us up on our website at sohotproductions.com!
UWL: What type of clients are you looking to have?
NAB: We are looking for Christian artists, period. None of that postive stuff. I myself will be doing a lot more live stuff and working with bands and stuff. The electric guitar on Da' T.R.U.T.H.'s track, "Civilian," was a prequel to whats coming from me and J.R., so stay tuned for more hot stuff from So Hot Productions!
UWL: You rep St. Louis all the way. Have you always lived there?
NAB: Yup born and raised…
UWL: Well, this concludes our interview, Nab. I know it's early in the morning and you probably want to go grab your breakfast! Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers? Any last remarks or shout outs?
NAB: Stand Firm in the faith during this crucial time in our Culture. So many believers are dumbing-down to the standard of what the culture tells them is correct, but we know that the lord has chosen an elect people that will go out and proclaim his name and shun the evil of our culture.
Shout outs to The Process—those are my boys… what! MAC and Mr Motley, of course Cross Movement always, Da' T.R.U.T.H., FLAME, FLAME, Cho'zyn, 2 Live is Christ Records, J'Son, Crossbreed, J.R., Co Co, The Urban Web Link, and all ya'll at JD Web Design who are doing bangin kimgdom work… I'm always on ya'll site lookin at website pics and stuff, and anybody I forgot… sorry! Be Edified always Grace and Peace till next Time.
UWL: Thank you again, Nab, for this interview! It's been enlighting and inspiring. Continue to hold it down for Christ Jesus in all that you do!
NAB: No doubt!